When taking the ferry from North Sydney, Nova Scotia to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, take the day-crossing (instead of the night-crossing) so that you'll have a spectacular view of the southwest coast of Newfoundland, and the houses of Port aux Basques on the treeless landscape, as you approach port. Whales are a possibility. The final hour of the ferry trip will be memorable. Go out on the deck of the ferry - keep your camera handy.
If you have a couple of hours for an evening drive, then a visit to the lighthouse at Rose Blanche is an idea. The stone lighthouse, which was designed by the family of author Robert Louis Stevenson, was rebuilt in the late-1990. Port aux Basques to Rose Blanche can been driven in about 45 minutes.